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The attached news release is representative of 24 releases about NASA employees who played a key role in the success of the Chandra mission. A list of key participants also follows. For more information about individual team-members, you may contact the Marshall Center Media Relations Department.
For Release: August 26, 1999
Husband and Wife from Atlanta See Results of Efforts With Images from NASA's Chandra X-ray Telescope
As people worldwide view the first spectacular images from the most powerful X-ray telescope in history, one couple from Atlanta can take pride in the fact that they helped make those images possible.
NASA Engineers Kurt and Lorna Jackson, who graduated from high schools in Atlanta, are members of the Chandra X-ray Observatory team at NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala.
Kurt Jackson is a 1978 graduate of Atlanta's Gordon High School, and Lorna Jackson is a 1977 graduate of Columbia High School in Decatur. Both are graduates of the Georgia Institute of Technology, where they met.
As lead engineer for the Avionics Department, Kurt Jackson played a key role in the design and testing of Chandra's hardware and science instruments to ensure a proper on-orbit operation.
He also assisted in controlling and monitoring the Observatory from the operations control center in Boston during Chandra's launch, deployment, and on-orbit activation and checkout.
Lorna Jackson, who tested the power supply system of the telescope and its control center, is continuing to monitor Chandra's electrical power system from Marshall's Operations Support Center in Huntsville -- a responsibility she plans to continue through Chandra's five-year mission.
This includes ensuring the solar arrays that receive power from the sun and distribute it to the spacecraft's batteries are operating correctly. Together, the solar arrays and batteries power Chandra's science instruments and hardware.
With its first images, unveiled today in Washington, D.C., the Chandra X-ray Observatory is already providing astronomers -- as well as members of the Chandra team such as Kurt and Lorna Jackson -- with a new perspective on our universe.
One extraordinary image traces the aftermath of a gigantic stellar explosion in such stunning detail that scientists can see evidence of what may be a neutron star or black hole near the center. Another image shows a powerful X-ray jet blasting 200,000 light years into intergalactic space from a distant quasar.
Both images confirm that NASA's newest Great Observatory is in excellent health and its instruments and optics are performing up to expectations. Chandra, the world's largest and most sensitive X-ray telescope, is still in its orbital check-out and calibration phase.
With an operational orbit that takes it 200 times higher than the Hubble Space Telescope, Chandra's resolving power is equal to the ability to read the letters of a stop sign 12 miles away. In addition to quasars and stars, it will allow astronomers to study other sources of X-rays like black holes, colliding galaxies and comets.
Chandra, named in honor of the late Indian-American Nobel Laureate Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar, was launched aboard the Space Shuttle Columbia July 23.
Both Kurt and Lorna Jackson have bachelor's degrees in electrical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. They are the parents of two children, ages 3 and 9.
The first images from Chandra are available on the Web at:
Note to Editors / News Directors: For an interview with Kurt or Lorna Jackson, photos and video to support this release, media representatives may contact Dave Drachlis of the Marshall Media Relations Department at (256) 544-0034. For more information, visit Marshall's News Center on the Web at:
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